ABAI 48th Annual Convention:
Safely Reunited in Boston

Photo by Eric Kilby.

By Maria E. Malott

We are thrilled to be hosting an in-person event again after two years away. Boston will provide a historically and culturally rich setting for over 450 hours of symposia, panels, invited talks, and more.

The 2022 Society for the Advancement of Behavior Analysis (SABA) Awards highlights the tremendous contributions made to behavior analysis by Deisy de Souza (Distinguished Service to Behavior Analysis), Martha Hubner (Effective Presentation of Behavior Analysis in the Mass Media), Stephen Higgins (Scientific Translation), The Carbone Clinic/Vincent Carbone (International Dissemination of Behavior Analysis), and Drake University (Enduring Programmatic Contributions in Behavior Analysis).

The program includes two thematic tracks this year: one on supervision and one on ableism.

The 2022 Presidential Address, “Some Thoughts About the Future: Science, Culture, and Values,” will be given by Dr. Ruth Anne Rehfeldt. She will explore how cultural practices are selected and transmitted not only by direct-acting contingencies, but also due to the influence of verbal stimulus functions, or indirect acting contingencies.

The 2022 Presidential Scholar Address, “Giant Rats to the Rescue! Applied Principles Shape Behaviors and Communities,” will be given by Dr. Cynthia Fast, Head of Training and Innovation at APOPO, a Belgian NGO that trains African giant pouched rats for scent detection of humanitarian targets. She will discuss the training of these rats to detect buried landmines and tuberculosis.

The B. F. Skinner Lecture Series—presentations organized by the Program Board and area coordinators and delivered by non-behavior analysts who work in complementary fields—will provide convention attendees with a sense of how behavior analytic findings and methods contribute to broader scientific topics including human trafficking, ethical animal training, gun violence, and systemic racism in child health.

Invited presentations and invited tutorials will highlight some of the field’s most important and interesting leaders and trends. This year, the convention will feature presentations on diversity, equity, and equality, cannabis, obesity, stimulus equivalence, maternal health interventions, social justice, animal welfare, relational frame theory, and operant conditioning.

The Professional Development Series is an initiative of the ABAI Student Committee, which invites panels to address topics of special interest to Student members. Topics at this year’s conference include cultural humility, starting a psychotherapy clinic, developing time management, and finding mentorship.

The program includes 294 panels and symposia, 75 workshops, 67 invited presentations—including 17 B. F. Skinner Lectures—and over 500 posters. Opportunities to collaborate and learn about other programs and organizations will be found during 36 business meetings, 24 reunions and receptions, and the Expo poster session, with over 120 posters.

The 48th Annual Convention would not be possible without the work of ABAI’s Program Board. Coordinator Jonathan Tarbox and Committee Chair Amy Odum have overseen the completion of an impressive program with the assistance of 31 area coordinators in 16 program areas. This year’s coordinators are Erik Arntzen, Regina Carroll, Tai Collins, Lin Du, Erica Feurbacher, Daniel Fienup, Elizabeth Fong, Nicole Gravina, Nathaniel Hall, Renee Hawkins, Michael Hixson, August Holtyn, Ramona Houmanfar, Kieva Hranchuk, Sally Huskinson, Vivian Ibanez, Corina Jimenez-Gomez, Sarah Lechago, Yanerys Leon, Karen Lionello-DeNolf, Caio Miguel, Suzanne Mitchell, Yaniz Padilla Dalmau, Jo Ann Pereira Delgado, Sarah Richling, Patrick Romani, Kathryn Roose, Rocio Rosales, Michele Traub, Susan Wilczynski, and Byron Wine.

And thank you to the extraordinary ABAI staff for their work in the planning, preparation, and execution of the convention.

Each year, thousands of behavior analysts and allies gather to learn, connect, and celebrate a science that has much to offer the world. The convention has become a symbol for the best our field has to offer. We hope to see you there.